Justia U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Smith sued the United States and Capitol Officers Rogers and Anyaso, alleging that while working for a federal agency on November 5, 2009, he drove officials to Capitol Hill, and, at an attended barricade, Rogers, in uniform, “began to chastise and yell at him for dropping off his passengers at that location.” Smith made a U-turn and left the area. Rogers radioed other officers, allegedly stating that Smith’s car struck Rogers’s leg. Minutes later, Anyaso arrested Smith for assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer. Charges were dismissed months later. The defense provided a video recording (no audio) of the incident and an audio recording of Rogers’ radio transmission, which had been provided to Smith while his criminal case was pending. On the audio recording, Rogers states that Smith “intentionally almost struck this officer.” The video showed aggressive driving by Smith. The D.C. Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the defendants, upholding a determination that no material facts were in dispute and the court’s refusal to allow Smith to conduct discovery before its ruling. The officers had probable cause to arrest Smith. A “reasonable officer” would have felt threatened by the proximity of the fast-moving vehicle. The existence of probable cause foreclosed Smith’s claims of false arrest, malicious prosecution, Fourth Amendment violations, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. View "Smith v. United States" on Justia Law